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I Forge Iron

Making Damascus: Used Vinegar to Etch, What to polish with?

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The Radio Shack in town is no more. So, I used white vinegar at a slow boil for 20 or so minutes. I now have a lovely etch but how do I polish it without removing the etch. It's very light. I practiced with wax and a green scratch pad on the tang and it sanded it right off! I supposed I need a deeper etch or a lighter polish. Any suggestions?



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You can also use muriatic acid from a pool supply or plumbing or rock supply. Use it full strength. Be sure to neutralize the blade well as acid left in the spaces can cause problems. I use 1500-2000 grit sandpaper to scrub mine down with and then polish with semichrome. if you want the really dark color polish it as described clean it well then dip for a few seconds just to get the color. Some will not take a dark finish due to alloying. If you can get some FC then all the better.


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One thing I have done if a surface feels *rough* after an etch is to take an arkansas hard black stone and some WD40 and gently rub the surface. Makes it a bit smoother and the high areas get bright while the low areas stay dark---you could probably do the same with a ceramic sharpener rod.

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